Conference challenges present opportunities

Conference challenges present opportunities

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Conference challenges present opportunities

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With Tuesday night’s dual wrestling meet at Centerville being snowed out, things will remain interesting until Saturday.

Snow canceled Winchester’s scheduled trip to Centerville.

The Falcons are the reigning Tri-Eastern Conference champions. Centerville is one of the teams many are pointing to as a potential favorite to dethrone them. Both are champions of their counties.

But the county hosting this year’s TEC tournament is Union County — home of the traditionally strong Patriots — Saturday starting at 9 a.m.

“It’s going to be interesting,” Union County coach Dan Briggs said. ” … If we can come in and wrestle hard, who upsets who, get some upsets here or there … . It’s going to be interesting no matter what. It’s not going to be a blowout, so certainly it’s going to be exciting.”

Also in conference tournament action, Richmond takes high hopes to Huntington North for the North Central Conference tournament.

“We had practice (Monday) and we talked about having an opportunity to win the conference this year,” Richmond coach Jeremy Bane said. “I feel like we can compete for the conference title. We’ve got six or seven individuals that can do well. Obviously, those six or seven guys have to be in the top three; four or five of them can be in the finals.”

The NCC title is up for grabs after reigning champion New Castle withdrew from the conference and competed at last week’s Hoosier Heritage Conference tournament.

In the TEC, Winchester is hoping to add to a recent dynasty. The Falcons won TEC titles in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2013, while Union County won in 2010 and 2012.

The last team to win other than those two? Centerville had back-to-back titles in 2006 and 2007.

The Bulldogs have had a strong season, winning the Wayne County championship as well as claiming the Class A title at the Connersville Spartan Classic for the first time.

“It’s normally a toss-up,” Centerville coach Mike Day said. “Last year, going in, I thought four teams had a shot at it, and the same thing — I don’t expect anything different this year. It’s going to be who wrestles the best that day. Obviously that’s a little cliché, but it’s true. Whoever wrestles the best that day is going to win it. We just hope to peak at that time.”

Centerville’s Alston Jenkinson (120 pounds), Javon Phillips (126), Isaiah Michaels (132), Dakota Tipton (138), Mitchell Burelison (145), Bryce Robinson (182), Enrique Calderon (195), Cameron Deloney (220) and Isaac Creigmile (285) all went 3-0 to win Wayne County titles in their respective weight classes.

Other weight-class champions were Christian Cox (145) and David Castle (113) of Hagerstown, Colton Handley (106) and Chace Mosley (170) of Northeastern and Gus Rihm (160) of Lincoln.

In Randolph County, the Falcons defeated Union City 42-36 for the title with Jared Hangen (113), Sabastian Thompson (120), Vince Prescott (126), Thomas Underwood (152), Dustyn Hangen (195) and Logan Williams (285) all winning weight-class titles.

“Centerville’s going to be tough. Union County’s going to have some good wrestlers as well,” Winchester coach Brian Feltis said. “Obviously Union City’s got some good guys — I think most of the teams have a few guys that should be favored to win. … It should be a really good tournament.”

Jenkinson and Tipton of Centerville, Grant Gough and Jacob Sofronko of Winchester and Cox of Hagerstown are returning TEC champions.

Union County was TEC runner-up last year, followed by Centerville, Union City, Hagerstown, Tri, Lincoln and Northeastern.

In the NCC, Richmond looks for strong performances from No. 6-ranked heavyweight Nate Trawick, who is a reigning NCC champion, as well as freshman Alston Bane, who was state-ranked earlier this year. Blake Hillard, the team’s only senior, finished fourth at 113 pounds last year.

Kokomo finished second as a team, Huntington North third, Anderson fourth, Richmond fifth, Marion sixth, Logansport seventh and Muncie Central eighth.

“I think we can compete to win it, but obviously I think we’re a top-three team,” coach Bane said.

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